Vida Medical, Dental & Veterinary Programs in Nicaragua

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About

Join Vida in Nicaragua with their veterinary volunteer programs. Vida currently offers 1-2 week long programs in Nicaragua for pre-veterinary and veterinary school students and recent grads.

Volunteers will work with experience bilingual volunteers and have the opportunity to assist in spaying and neutering as well as other hands-on surgical procedures. They will also learn recovery care procedures as well as how to administer vaccinations to both small and large animals. Gain practical experience in the field of veterinary medicine!

Learn more about Vida Veterinary Volunteer Programs in Nicaragua.

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 53 reviews
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 31 - 45 of 53
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maxieb
10/10

Best spring break ever!!

I have never had such a wonderful experience as I did on my spring break trip to Nicaragua with VIDA. I learned SO much! Pre-vet people: this is seriously SUCH a good use of your time.
I don't want to ramble, but below is the link to my blog post about the trip where I list all of the hands-on stuff I got to do.
http://prismpuppies.com/vida-veterinary-volunteer-trip-to-n…

If you aren't good with slightly adverse conditions, don't go on the trip.This trip WILL put you outside of your comfort zone- but that's definitely a good thing!!

How can this program be improved?
Three of the nights' lodging was very uncomfortable, but on the plus side it had air conditioning.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Brett
10/10

Medical Trip

This trip was possibly the best foreign aid trip I have ever been on, and I have been on a few. No other trip provided me with the ability to provide such concrete help to such a large number of people. I felt as though I made a huge impact in the lives of the people of Masaya and Leon and had a blast doing it. The clinics were very hands on and incredibly informative and provided me with first hand clinical experience that I couldn't have gained in the US. Overall, I am extremely pleased with my experience and intend to participate in a VIDA adventure again next year.

How can this program be improved?
If I could change one thing, I would add more clinic days or increase the amount of time spent in clinic. The clinics were my favorite pare of the trip and helped me to become secure in my intentions to become a healthcare provider.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
chlocole
10/10

Worthwhile Pre-Veterinary Experience with VIDA

VIDA was such an amazing experience that I cried at the end of my stay not wanting it to be over! I have never learned so much in 4 clinic days. The States has a lot of restrictions, but down in Nicaragua I got hands-on and visual education headed by a renowned local Veterinary on sterilization procedures, IV catheter placement, tracheal tube insertion, general intake, vaccinations, deworming, etc. We got to work with small and large animals, saving each life as we went for absolutely no cost to the community made this experience humbling and worthwhile. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND VIDA!

How can this program be improved?
The packing list was extensive, causing my luggage to be quite heavy when I didn't even use half the stuff I brought. They also told me to bring more money than you could ever possible spend, which made me worrisome about where to keep it, on me or in my suitcase? But I have left this feedback with VIDA and they are steadfast working to change these issues. Also, except sickness. Its not VIDAs fault, but rather a harsh adjustment to the country, which I was unprepared for!
Yes, I recommend this program
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PabloIsTheBest!
10/10

Nicaragua Spring Break 2013

I loved every second of the trip. The volunteers were so much fun to hang out with, and I loved all of the staff so much. They were all so much fun and so great at what they did! I loved everything!

How can this program be improved?
Space out the program fees a little more, $900 was a lot to pay for!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Raissa
9/10

VIDA Nicaragua Trip

Overall, the program is a great opportunity for students to gain medical experience and make a difference. The program does a great job integrating the country's culture throughout the whole program. I especially loved the experience of homestays. You really get to experience what it is like living in that country. The clinic days were wonderful opportunities to serve in the community. The doctors on the trip did a great job educating the volunteers. They really took an interest in teaching volunteers about common diseases and how to do a basic medical exam.

How can this program be improved?
I wish there was more time devoted to orienting/training the volunteers for the clinic days. There was a lot of info. crammed into that one orientation day.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Divya
9/10

McMaster's VIDA Trip to Nicaragua

The days blended together so well - the staff did an amazing job with integrating our group into the local culture and helping along with our clinic activities. I would go as far as to say that every moment of my trip was a highlight, there really isn't anything that I would change about the week!

One minor difficulty that I could point out would be the lack of communication between us volunteers and our homestay families. As entertaining as it was to learn a new language, at times it was a little awkward and slightly frustrating to not be able to understand what our homestay family was trying to communicate with us.

How can this program be improved?
Like I mentioned, I would really only want to change the homestay portion - maybe having us volunteers take a few more spanish lessons, or having the families know a little more english. But honestly, even the homestays were an amazing experience as they were. It was a minor difficulty :)
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Anonymous
10/10

Can't find this experience anywhere else

I heard a lot about the trip from people who attended it before but it still managed to surpass all my expectations. The actual clinic days were great. Being able to interact with patients and understanding the kind of medical issues they face on a day to day basis helped me understand the different kind of problems faced by people around the world. Coming up with a hypothesis with other volunteers gave me a glimpse into the day to day life of a physician and has helped convince me that I am on the right track career-wise. The sort of patient interaction I faced is unique and I definitely won't be able to find such an experience here in Canada. The VIDA staff were phenomenal in keeping us safe, comfortable. They were all very approachable and easy to talk to making the trip feel like I was with friends the whole time. The organization was top notch and I can't imagine the trip going any better

How can this program be improved?
Improve english among homestay families in order to increase communication and understand them better. Not a big issue though.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Morgan
10/10

VIDA veterinary program

I participated in this program as veterinarian from the US. The program was well organized and provided an excellent experience for me and for the students. The students gained real world experience to help with grad school admissions and a life changing experience helping those less fortunate than themselves. The home stays allowed a more indepth exposure to the culture and the recreational days showed off the country and were great fun. I would certainly recommend this program to any veterinary, medical or dental student.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Brightnbubbly
10/10

So Much More Than Expected

I went on the Veterinary Trip through VIDA and was so impressed with how involved, knowledgeable and helpful all the staff was. I was also pleasantly surprised by how quickly we were all joking around with each other and how at home I felt. I was also super impressed by how hands-on my experience was. Rather than standing next to a vet and watching them give an injection, prepare an animal for surgery or preform surgery, a vet was standing next to me and watching ME do all these things. They do a phenomenal job of making sure that you understand what you are doing and why you are doing it that way. The only thing that was a bit confusing is that some of the vets had different techniques, so you have to remember which ones to use around each vet. The recreational days were a lot of fun as well (though we all missed clinic on those days, haha). Recreational days were jam packed with traveling around to local markets, historical sites and activities like zip lining. Home stays were also really cool because we got to experience everyday life in Nicaragua. It was so much fun chatting with my host mom and wandering around town with my host brother and the rest of the VIDA volunteers with whom I was staying. I can't wait to go again next year!!

How can this program be improved?
Vets should communicate more about the procedures they use so that they will recognize when we have simply been taught by another vet and may not be doing the procedure "wrongly" (just differently).

Also..... MORE CLINIC DAYS!! :)
Yes, I recommend this program
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cphill
9/10

VIDA - Pre-Med Team

VIDA enables volunteers to get real clinical experience in the culturally rich environment. In the clinics, I learned how to take patient histories, take vitals (including blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, and heart and lung sounds), give abdominal exams, witness PAP smears, and even begin to diagnose and recommend medications. In addition, VIDA immerses students in the Nicaraguan culture by placing students in host families and side-trips to local tourist sites. The staff was enormously helpful with translating and informing our group on local customs and history. I felt that I left Nicaragua with a much broader sense of their culture and greater wealth of clinical knowledge. I highly recommend this trip to any pre-med student with a sense of adventure and interest in other cultures!

How can this program be improved?
Traveling may have been a little more pleasant if all the students traveled on the same flight.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Anon
9/10

Medical program- do it!

Volunteering with VIDA was one of the best decisions I made. The experience was more than I could ask for. It truly was a hands on experience in clinic because we sat with the patients, took their medical histories, talked about their complaints, and worked with the doctors and our peers to come up with a diagnosis. This program definitely gives you an idea of what being a doctor/physicians assistant/nurse would do during their job so even if you are not sure if the medical field is for you, it's a great experience to learn whether or not it is! Not only did you get hands on experience, but the cultural enriching aspect of the trip was something I'll never forget, and I will cherish it for the rest of my life.

How can this program be improved?
Give a more detailed explanation of how clinic will be set up and how it will run during orientation so then volunteers will have a better understanding of what to expect before their first clinic day.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Brandon
10/10

A Trip of a Lifetime!!!

We were able to gain an insight of the true lifestyle of local Nicaraguans in Masaya, by actually living with a host family for a portion of the trip. We were rewarded with a feeling of fulfillment after helping 203 animal patients at our veterinary clinics throughout the trip, and 365 human patients at our medical clinics. You learn so many valuable hands on skills by working side by side with local doctors. The trip was also filled with fun activities such as a zip-lining canopy tour, a boat tour of the Islands of Granada on Lake Nicaragua, a soccer game with local children, a visit to a local daycare, and a Latin dance class.

Yes, I recommend this program
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PuraVida
10/10

Unforgettable

From the people to the scenery, Nicaragua was incredible. The clinic days were truly eye-opening, and I felt like I made a difference. The patients seemed grateful, and were more than willing to interact with us. We overcame the language barrier with ease, and had a real, human connection. The home stay families were wonderful, and more hospitable than I could ever have imagined. From the endless meals, to constant entertainment, I never felt bored or uncomfortable living in my home stay family's house. All in all, the experience was unforgettable, and I plan to return to Nicaragua as soon as possible, not only to help the people but enjoy the beautiful culture and nature.

How can this program be improved?
Sometimes the end of the clinic days felt rushed, and at least one of the teams had to turn away patients. Either a more efficient system, or perhaps a little more time should be used for clinic days.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Minn352
10/10

Life-Changing Experience!

My VIDA trip was without a doubt life changing. The hands on experience in clinics is unbeatable, and the opportunity to visit a Nicaraguan private and public hospital was eye opening. We also got to have lots of fun at Latin dance lessons and while ziplining through the jungle. The staff was fantastic including the team leaders, translators, and doctors. I would recommend this trip to everyone as it truly was a great experience.

How can this program be improved?
One more day of fun! Three clinic days in a row was a bit much, and I felt as though we lost some motivation on the third day although we still did our best! I also liked when the translators had a pen and paper with them and automatically spelled out the patient's names and medications as we usually have no idea how to spell them. It is very helpful and saves time. Also although homestays are a great cultural experience, I think two nights with homestays is plenty. It is more fun to be with the whole group than to be isolated with just one other person.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kstowell
10/10

I love VIDA!!

The staff was absolutely wonderful; very friendly and enthusiastic about their jobs. Clinic days were wonderful. Learned so much! Homestay parents were amazing even with the language barrier. Overall, it was a life changing experience.

How can this program be improved?
More diverse food on clinic days instead of rice and beans. Maybe pb and j. Other than that, I have no complaints!
Yes, I recommend this program

About Vida Volunteer

Volunteer abroad with Vida in Central America! With Vida, you have the opportunity to gain experience in three main fields: medicine, dental health, and veterinary medicine. As a volunteer with Vida, you will work with local professionals in these...